Sunday, September 26, 2010

Irazú Volcano and Costa Rican Countryside

Today was a day off for us, so it was an early start this morning for the drive to Irazú Volcano. I drove the Land Rover up which was an good practise - a lot of trouble getting from 2nd to 3rd going up hills - I kept ending up in 5th which was the opposite of helpful and would lose all my momentum and needed to drop back down to 2nd and grind away to get the revs back up. Eventually figured it out though and the rest of the ride was pretty smooth I think, considering it being the 2nd hour I've spent driving a manual car in my life :P

The whole drive there was about an hour and a half, climbing about 2500m from the field base and through some amazing countryside and country roads (and 'roads'). I was a passenger on the way back which gave a good chance to take some photos of the area (where possible!)

We were promised an amazing vista when we were at the top, and we got something that I am pretty unaccustomed to in Costa Rica.

The cold.

(apologies in advance for some bad ones - wet camera = misty and poorly focused images)

This is looking down into the main crater. Below is a beautiful emerald lake and specatular vistas... allegedly...

Thankfully, there was a cafe where we bought some coffee to warm our hands up. I've started drinking a bit here - Costa Rican coffee is supposed to be amazing, so I'm having it black and unsweetened and it's slowly growing on me, I guess.

Upon leaving the cafe we stumbled upon a (quite tame/greedy) Coati - kind of racoon sized mammal thing. Very photogenic (ie comes up to you sniffing for food)

Fairly Odd Parents on tv...

Drivers for the way back down to field base - Hilux
(Driver: Maryann, front passenger: Carl, in the rear is Marcus and Alex (not visible)

Land Rover (which I took back down - should I be concerned?)
(Driver: Emma, front passenger: Ross (Country director and driving insructor/hand waver). I'm in the back.

For more details on who these people are (and everything else going on on expedition), see

And now some scenery - hard to get between all the trees!

Volcan Tarrialba

I'm now waiting for the banana cake to come out of the oven. I'm on cleaning roster today so should probably go do that...